Exchanging a foreign driving licence for a Dutch driving licence in the Netherlands
Do you have a foreign driving licence and do you live in the Netherlands? You can drive temporarily in the Netherlands on your foreign driving licence. Later, you have to exchange your driving licence at your municipality.
Whether or not you are allowed to drive on your foreign driving licence depends on when you come to live in the Netherlands, and which country you were granted your licence. The rules applicable to you can be found on the Rijksdienst voor het wegverkeer – RDW (Netherlands Vehicle Authority) website.
The exchange of your foreign driving licence is subject to certain conditions. For example you must be registered in the Personal Records Database (Basisregistratie Personen – BRP) at your municipality. You can find all the conditions for exchanging your foreign driving licence on the RDW website.
You can also check with the RDW chatbot (in Dutch) whether you can exchange your driving licence. Choose "Rijbewijs omwisselen" and by answering a few questions the chatbot can provide your answer.
You can apply to exchange your foreign driving licence at your municipality. On the RDW website you can find out the steps to take.
If it is not possible to exchange your licence, you will have to take a theory and practical driving test at the Centraal Bureau Rijvaardigheidsbewijzen – CBR (central office for driving licences). On the CBR website you can find out more information about the licence classes that can be exchanged.
This is how it works for you
Here is some information from your municipality.
Municipality of Hoorn: Exchanging a foreign driving licence for a Dutch driving licence
Please note: you must live in the Netherlands and be registered with a municipality to exchange a foreign driving licence. You must hand in your foreign driving licence when you apply. You are not allowed to drive until you have received your new driving licence.
Bring the following to the appointment:
- Your foreign driver's license.
- A translation of your driving license if the driving license is drawn up in characters that are not used in the Netherlands (for example, in Japanese or Greek).
- Your previous Dutch driving licence, if you have one.
- A valid ID
- A matching color passport photo. The passport photo is no more than six months old at the time of application.
- A debit card (or cash)
- Sometimes a Statement of Fitness.
To exchange your driver's license, make an appointment at the town hall. Fill in the application form at the town hall.
The exchange of a foreign driving license costs € 44.60. There are also costs for sending by registered mail. You pay this amount with the application at the town hall.
The municipality forwards the application with all documents to the RDW. If everything is in order, the RDW will send you a letter within 10 working days. It states when you can collect your Dutch driving license from the municipality.
The RDW always returns the foreign driving license to the country where the driving license was issued. So you cannot get this driver's license back. Your foreign driving license will be sent by registered mail to the RDW. In the meantime you do not have a driver's license.
Questions about this topic?
Contact the Municipality of Hoorn